For Students
For Member Universities
Study Abroad Asia
Program Announcements from SAF Member Universities in Asia Learn more.
SAF Offices


University of Alabama

Program Overview 

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Culture: Student and sports-centric, all-American
Neighborhood: College town, suburban/rural
Housing: On-campus dormitory
English level: Beginner - advanced 

The University of Alabama (UA) is a student-centric institution and is committed to facilitating collaboration, public engagement, and creating well-rounded future leaders. Scholarly work is always present for students and this atmosphere has helped numerous students win prestigious awards in the sciences and the liberal arts fields.

SAF Scholars studying English at the University of Alabama will have ample opportunity to integrate with their community, speak with and get to know American students, as well as partake of cultural and community activities that all enhance their English language study.

Located in the town of Tuscaloosa, UA focuses on supporting students and helping them to achieve academic excellence over the years. In addition, sports play a key role in campus life, as the students become ardent supporters of the players, particularly in football. Their famous call of “Roll Tide!” can be heard at games and any time the team is mentioned

Tuscaloosa is a town of approximately 100,000 in the deep south. The town and the university are intertwined, as UA is one of the largest economic forces in the area. College football is just as popular on campus as it is off campus. The phrase that originated in football at UA, “Roll Tide,” can be heard in Tuscaloosa and around the state itself.

Student Profile

Students who are interested in learning in a supportive learning community while attending a large public university would enjoy attending UA. The institution is also located in the southern part of the country, meaning that SAF Scholars who prefer a warmer climate and a more rural environment would be the right-fit for this university.

Other Programs at University

University of Alabama - Academic

Other Comparable Programs

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (August – December)
Academic Year (August – May)
Spring + Summer + Fall (March – December)

Program Strengths

A key strength is the supportive and helpful community of instructors and staff that help students achieve academic success.

Number of Classroom Hours Per Week

20 hours of class per week consisting of the core classes:
  • Reading and Writing (9 hours per week)
  • Speaking and Listening (6 hours per week)
  • Structure/Grammar (5 hours per week)
1-6 additional hours per week in optional classes, workshops and seminars such as:
  • Culturally Speaking
  • TOEFL Workshop
  • IELTS Workshop
  • GRE Workshop
  • Weekly Seminars
For example, Culturally Speaking is an optional conversation class in which students meet with US students for information conversation, primarily about cultural topics. The class meets for two hours per week and is held during Fall and Spring sessions only.

Number of Levels

Six levels – a student may be placed in a combination of levels for each core class based upon their ability in that area (i.e. Reading/Writing 3, Speaking/Listening 4 and Structure 2). 

Each level is 8 weeks long.

Elective Courses Offered

Elective classes are available to students in Levels 4-6. For example, Oral Communication is designed for students who wish to concentrate on improving their speaking and listening on English, or TOEFL Preparation is available for students who wish to focus on improving their TOEFL scores.

SAF Scholars who meet the designated criteria are eligible to take elective courses, which vary in subject matter. Past examples include:

  • Taboos and Stereotypes
  • World News & Topics
  • American Cultural Backgrounds
  • Business + English
  • Engineering + English
  • Pronunciation

Progression or Concurrent Notes

SAF Scholars will be able to progress if they receive the qualifying English language score prior to the academic term. In order to achieve the required score in time to progress, students must enter their first semester with a 71 iBT.

Housing Type

On-campus dormitory 


SAF Scholars do not receive a meal plan, but may purchase one at their own expense. University residence halls contain kitchen facilities, so scholars may cook for themselves. However, the university does place $325 dining dollars on each scholar’s account each semester to be used at university dining halls. Any money that is not spent through the semester is returned. Additionally, scholars may simply add money to this account to continue purchasing meals instead of subscribing to a meal plan.

Type of Room

Double Room
Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars have the opportunity to join numerous student clubs and organizations at UA, from the Crew Club to the Academic Quizbowl Team to the Table Tennis Association. Students are also encouraged to attend the International Coffee Hour each Friday during the academic year, which affords international and domestic students, faculty, and staff the ability the meet and mingle.

Life on Campus

Football is an important feature of life at UA. The university has many sports teams and events throughout the year, but the football season is famous. If the state is considered football-crazy, then the campus is the epicenter of the madness. The rally cry of “Roll Tide” can be heard throughout campus and is a common chant. 
Last Updated: 1/9/19